Athy Takes barrow awards
In addition to receiving the award, the North Barrow branch of the IWAI were also awarded €1000 to assist with their efforts. From their prize fund, the North Barrow branch have kindly donated €200 each to the Tidy Towns Committee and Athy Rowing & Canoeing club in recognition of their efforts in maintaining the waterways. The remainder of the prize fund is earmarked for specific projects on the waterways including signage highlighting Athy’s facilities and further maintenance & painting works. Speaking on their plans for the coming year, Chairman Barry Keatley said “Our main objectives for the coming months include providing additional mooring posts below Whites Castle and installing freshwater & electricity facilities on the Jetty. This will involve the branch continuing to work very closely with Athy Town Council who have been very supportive of our endeavours in the past”.
In recent times, Athy’s Waterways have been transformed. Most evenings, the waterways around Athy plays host to Fishing, Kayaking, Swimming, Hiking, Cycling, Rowing, Boating and many other activities. The Barrowline track is perfect for facilitating these activities along with catering for those just out to enjoy an evening stroll. Marketed through www.athywaterways.com and www.facebook.com/athywaterways , Athy has been successful over the past few months, in attracting eight boats to take up permanent residency in the town centre. In addition, it has been very successful in attracting tourists on cycling, hiking, canoeing and fishing holidays. Speaking at the Awards night, Cliff Reid PRO of the branch said “the Facebook page and website have been extremely successful so far. I’ve met with several visitors to the town that got in contact this way. While most have been from within the Republic, we have had a group of 16 canoeist form Northern Ireland, a group of 22 Hikers from Scotland wishing to walk the Barrow Way to St Mullin and a newly married couple from Germany over to cycle the Barrow Way also. Athy, at the meeting point of the Grand Canal and River Barrow is the starting point for those tackling the Barrow Way and we have sought to Market the town in this regard. While this initiative is only in its infancy, it clearly demonstrates town’s potential from a tourism perspective, if focused on the waterways and outdoor activities”.
Following their recent success, the North Barrow branch is to be honoured by the local Town Council with a civic reception in recognition of their community involvement and dedication to the promotion and development of the waterways.